Monday, June 25, 2012

Tree Murals

Well, I know I haven't been posting lately, but it's Summertime and the kiddos are off and climbing trees and swimming in lakes (who am I kidding....they're playing their Wii's and Xbox. It's Oregon, and it's raining.).

I've been trying to stay busy during this slow and unemployed time, with my own mural business. Here's what I've been up to, professionally:

- Creating a brand new website that's completely centered on my mural career. Now that I've decided that's really the direction I want to go most in my life career-wise, I'm completely re-designing the whole thing with this focus.  If you need a website, have good computer skills (but no, you don't need to know html or any other coding for this), go to the wix website and make a site for yourself.  They have templates available for free or you can buy a package without advertising. It's AMAZINGLY awesome.  Really, try it before you spend tons of money on someone to build your site or time learning other programs yourself.

Created a custom mural for a local non-profit.  I have been involved with Nearby Nature since I was in Middle school back in the 90's. They are an incredible, inspiring environmental and educational organization in my community. And they needed some visual magic at their headquarters.  They just re-painted their Park Host House (the house for the guardians of the wilderness park where they work)  a beautifully bright sky blue. The house looked gorgeous, except for their beaten down, scratched up door. I painted the Nearby Nature logo and a forest pathway on their door and entryway to pull everything together for them.

- Painted a custom Oak Tree mural for a client. The woman who commissioned this mural felt very connected to a local mountain, covered in Oak trees. She told me she felt a spiritual connection and peace about the trees, and wanted to bring that feeling into her home. We decided on a simple sihouette design. The challenge for this project, was pinpointing exactly what it was that would give my client this feeling from my artwork. In this case, it was really an example of the artist as a communicator, and a middle man between a client's vision and what can be manifested in real paint. It was difficult for my client to tell me exactly what she wanted because I couldn't feel what was in her heart - a feeling that was difficult for her to explain. Would longer branches do it? A shorter trunk? A wider canopy? All of these small details come together and give off a certain feeling -  one that I am trying to match to my client. In the end, after visiting the trees that inspired the project, and one round of changes, she was very happy with her bedroom mural. Another lesson in very careful and active listening, patience, and trusting instincts. A fun project that provided growth for both sides.

So that's what I've been up to! Next time you hear from me, I will be in Philadelphia, working on my mural internship with the Mural Arts Program! Can't wait! I'll keep this updated from time to time so you can see what I'm working on.